I was reading a post by my friend Larry, who recently left Panama to return to the states for health reasons. During his military career, he had developed a form of tuberculosis and was having repeated trips to the hospital.
He finally read the writing on the wall and realized that his condition was only going to continue to worsen, if he tried to stay in Panama.
This is the big caution I give everyone. If you are moving to Panama, have a good physical checkup and make the decision to move only after you get a clean bill of health.
This is not to say that you can’t get treated in Panama for most conditions, but the more complicated the problem, the higher the risk and the closer the bill will match treatment in the US. Add to that the fact that in most hospitals, you will not be getting state of the art treatment. Plus, Medicare is not honored in Panama and insurance is not any cheaper here. It is also much more difficult to get reimbursed.
Now if you are healthy when you move and you come here and get on the healthy diet that Panama can provide you, one containing fresh fruits and vegetables grown just a few miles from where you live. toss in a regimen of good exercise, which can be obtained by walking around this beautiful country, then you might outlive your expectancy in the US. (That may have set the record for the longest sentence I have ever written in this blog)
Certainly the stress level is less here, as long as you don’t mind waiting in long lines to pay your bills, and you don’t get too frustrated because your communication skills are not as good as they ought to be.
I believe healthcare is the first thing you have to feel comfortable about before you pack up and move to Panama. If you come here and like it, then you may decide that this it the place you want to live out your life. However, I have run into many people, through my visits to the hospitals, that are wishing they could figure out how to get back to the states because they know they are going to die in that hospital if they don’t.
I miss Larry being here. I enjoyed his sense of humor. I know that there are many things about the US that didn’t set well with him and he really wasn’t happy about having to move back, but from his recent post, I can see that he knows that moving back was the only way that would allow him to enjoy more tomorrows.